South Africa raked in the medals on the fourth day of the 19th African Senior Athletics Championships in Marrakech, Morocco winning the men’s pole vault, triple jump and the women javelin events.Cheyne Rahme broke the men’s Pole vault championships record of 5.40m, held by his compatriot Okkert Brits since 1993, with a first time clearance of 5.41m to take the gold medal for South Africa. Tunisia’s Amine Romdhana took the silver medal on count-back from Morocco’s Mouhcine Cheaouri after both cleared 5.00m.
Cheyne Rahme won the African junior title in 2009, and one year later set an African junior record of 5.50m. He was unable to extend that record in Marrakech after failing three times at 5.55m, but by then the gold was already his.
The 2014 Commonwealth games champion, Khotso Mokoena, added the triple jump gold to the silver medal he won on day 2, with a leap of 17.03m (+0.8 m/s) ahead of Nigeria’s Tosin Oke (16.97m) and Namibia’s Roger Haitengi (16.72m).
Egypt’s Mostafa Mohamed Hesham confirmed his supremacy in the men’s hammer throw with a new championships record distance of 79.09m. South Africa’s Chris Harmse was 2nd with 73.90m and Morocco’s Driss Barid with 60.17m, completed the podium.
After sweeping 5 gold medals the day before, Nigeria dominated the podium in the men’s 110m hurdles with Tyron Atkins (13.57), Alex Al-Ameen (13.78) and Martins Ogierakhi (13.80) taking the medals in that order.
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Elsewhere, Wilfried Koffi Hua of Ivory Coast, the African 100m champion, broke the national record with a time of 20.32 in the men’s 200m semi-finals. Koffi Hua is expected to duel with Botswana’s Isaac Makwala (20.34) in the final.
Marthe Koala picked the gold medal in heptathlon providing Burkina Faso with her second title in the Africa senior championships – Marrakech 2014, after Laetitia Bambara in hammer throw. Koala accumulated 5,454 points to win ahead of Ghana’s Elizabeth Dadzie (5,286 points) and South Africa’s Bianca Erwee (5,086 points).
South Africa’s Sunette Viljoen won the javelin throw with a championships record of 65.32m ahead of Mary Zuta Nartey of Ghana 52.57m. This is Viljoen’s fourth continental title after victories in 2004, 2008 and 2010.